After October 15, 2008, Sprint customers will no longer be able to download songs to their PC from the Sprint Music Store. Right now if you purchase a song over-the-air from the Sprint Music Store to your mobile handset, a copy of that song can be downloaded to your PC as well--both copies are available for one payment of 99 cents. You will have until October 14 if you want Sprint Music tracks downloaded to your PC. You can still backup the over-the-air songs on the PC, but the tracks will only play back on the handset that made the … Read more
If you live in Baltimore and want to experience fast, wireless Internet speeds, then congrats, you've chosen your place of residence wisely. On Monday, Sprint announced that Baltimore would be the first U.S. city to have access to its new WiMax mobile data network known as Xohm.
Xohm is a wireless data service which, thanks to its WiMax capability, will purportedly give you broadband-like speeds on your wireless PC.
Prices for the service start at $10 for 24 hours of unlimited usage, $25 for monthly home Internet service, and $30 for monthly on-the-go service. A special launch price … Read more
Natali says she giggles when she sees guys using the tiny little Eee PC. But she doesn't question their manliness. Engnr_Chik thinks Netbooks are for everyone. Plus we speculate on the rush to release a prebeta of Windows 7, demand Wal-Mart do something about their forlorn DRM music tracks, and I'm possibly moving to Japan. Or New York. Or space.
Listen now: Download today's podcastEPISODE 819
Japan to get 1Gbps home fiber connections http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/09/27/1757211
SpaceX orbits success with Falcon 1 http://news.cnet.com/8301-11386_3-10053326-76.html… Read more
Q: I've been looking into getting the Nokia E71, but can't justify the price. Have you heard anything on it becoming available with a U.S. carrier. Also, a whole other box of worms, if you purchase an unlocked E71, are you mandated to a contract? --James via e-mail
A: James, you are not alone. I get quite a few number e-mails about the Nokia E71 and it's really no surprise why. It's a great smartphone that's loaded with features for the mobile professional, and it's packaged in a sleek little frame. Unfortunately, I … Read more
The world's largest record label wants to develop its own version of Hulu, NBC Universal's free online-video portal. It would be a place for professionally produced music videos, original programming, and a more polished platform for the label's top artists, according to sources close to the company.
Also in today's podcast: Microsoft thinks it knows what it needs to do to catch Google in search, TellMe develops an application for the iPhone, Nokia is set to launch its own touch-screen phone, and CNET explores just how exposed we are to cancer when we use our cell … Read more
More cell phone operators and financial companies are jumping on the mobile financial-service bandwagon, but it remains to be seen if U.S. cell phone subscribers are even interested.
Sprint Nextel announced on Thursday that it will be the latest U.S. wireless carrier to offer its mobile-phone customers the ability to bank from their mobile handsets. The new MyMoneyManager service is a free downloadable application that enables cell phone subscribers to check bank balances, pay bills, and find nearby branches or ATMs from their handsets.
Sprint has initially partnered with four banks, BB&T, Citibank, IBC Bank, and PNC Bank, to provide the application. It plans to add other banks at a future date. And it will eventually bundle the application into some of its handsets.
Credit card giant Visa also announced several mobile initiatives Thursday. Specifically, it plans to enable its customers to transfer money, make payments, and receive real-time account notification alerts on their Nokia phones, as well as cell phones using the Google Android operating system. Visa also struck a mobile deal with U.S. Bank that will enable individuals to make money transfers from one Visa cardholder's account to another.
Initiatives to make bill payments and other banking tasks phone-friendly have been hyped over the past couple of years. Mobile banking is one of several new mobile services, such as music downloading and TV viewing, that have been enabled by faster 3G wireless networks.
And for the past couple of years, financial institutions and cell phone operators have been rolling out new services and applications.
Most banks participating Most of the major U.S. banks already offer some kind of mobile-banking technology, according to market research firm Celent. And the two largest mobile operators in the States have also introduced mobile-payment and banking options.
AT&T launched a mobile-payment application made available through Firethorn, which has since been acquired by Qualcomm, in March 2007. The telecommunications giant has also been running trials with Nokia to turn cell phones into debit cards, allowing people to make purchases with their cell phones. And Verizon Wireless, which also uses Firethorn, launched its mobile-banking application in January 2008.
But despite the fact that there are many options and opportunities for cell phone subscribers to access their banking information and pay their bills on their mobile phones, the uptake for these applications and services has been pretty weak. According to Forrester Research, only about 3 percent of mobile subscribers in North America check financial accounts on their mobile phone at least once a month. This rate of adoption is lower than that of services like music downloading, which 5 percent of mobile users say they do at least once monthly.… Read more
Sprint Nextel announced Thursday a new downloadable application that will let its subscribers bank and pay bills from their cell phones.
The new application called MyMoneyManager will provide online banking access to accounts with BB&T, Citibank, IBC Bank and PNC Bank. Subscribers with accounts at these banks will be able to check balances, pay bills, and find nearby branches with ATMs using the application on their phone. Sprint subscribers must have a Web-enabled phone and a wireless data plan to access the service.
The MyMoneyManager application is available at no additional charge to Sprint data subscribers. In the … Read more
Even now, I'd still call Sprint and Nextel an odd couple. Three years after these two crazy kids shocked everyone by getting hitched, the combined carrier still struggles to find its identity. Admittedly, the obstacles of combining two distinct networks and customer segments were daunting, but like an undecided voter choosing between candidates, I struggle to know what the company stands for.
A quick look at the other major carriers shows that they've been more successful at developing distinct identities and brands. AT&T is the big kid on the block with a large section of handsets and a monopoly on the iPhone; Verizon Wireless has a solid voice and 3G network and a growing assortment of fancy phones; and T-Mobile wins customer service awards and it aims for a urban, youngish audience by offering affordable calling plans and unique handsets like the Sidekick and (as of Tuesday), the T-Mobile G1.
But what can you say about Sprint? What exactly is its brand? Heck, I can't even think of Sprint's marketing slogan (as in AT&T's "More bars in more places"). On one hand, Sprint can claim some interesting phones of its own--there's the Samsung Instinct, the HTC Touch Diamond, the LG Rumor, and the Palm Centro, to name a few. And I've long said that Sprint's music and video content is some of the best in the business. But even with those upsides, I don't see the company packaging them in a way that refines the carrier's image and attracts new customers, not to mention keeping current ones. Indeed, during the last four financial quarters, Sprint has continually lost subscribers, dropping from 54 million in the second quarter of 2007 to 51.8 million in the second quarter of this year.
Though customer churn is far from being a carrier's only sign of success, Sprint is facing challenges on other fronts. As News.com's Maggie Reardon reported last month, the carrier lost $344 million during the April to June quarter. Though that was an improvement over the previous quarter, its stock price remains in the cellar. Similarly, while the company no doubt enjoyed a boost from the June 20 release of the Instinct, I agree with Maggie that Sprint needs more iconic high-end phones like it. Simply put, Sprint needs more pizazz in its product line that will deliver new subscribers.
But beyond just developing signature phones, Sprint has another problem: what will it do with its iDEN network? Indeed, iDEN remains a big concern of many Nextel loyalists who have long feared losing their rugged, dependable phones and their beloved Direct Connect push-to-talk network. But as I wrote earlier this year, Sprint's rather circuitous post-merger strategy hasn't done much to calm those concerns. First, it said it would move all Nextel customers over to CDMA, while keeping iDEN for PTT calls. What's more, it introduced dual-mode iDEN/CDMA handsets to make the move easier. But after those bridge-building handsets failed to catch on, the company changed its mind. Not only did it keep the Nextel and Sprint brands separate, but it also went back to introducing iDEN-only phones. It even brought CDMA phones into the Direct Connect fold with QChat phones like the Motorola V950. … Read more
Alltel has joined the list of carriers that are refusing to let the Motorola Razr die. On Monday, it announced that it was launching its own version of the Motorola Razr VE20.
The thin, shiny phone, which is currently offered by Sprint, comes in a blue and silver color scheme but it offers all of the same features as the Sprint model. Inside you'll find a 2-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, an MP3 player, GPS, a microSD card slot, and 3G EV-DO support. Also, it supports Alltel's signature Celltop application. The Alltel VE20 is $99.99 with service.
Owners of the Samsung Instinct, I want to hear from you. Though the iPhone rival was one of the hottest cell phones of the summer, its successes and shortcomings haven't received quite as much attention as Apple's device. Similarly, while I see tens of iPhone users every day, I've seen nearly as many Instincts in the wild.
The first time I saw an Instinct owner using his device in public, I had to ask him what he thought of his phone. He responded that while there were certain things he really loved about it, there were also … Read more